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Press release 21/05/2019


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Exports of goods from the Basque Country fell by 7.8% in March 2019

In the first quarter of 2019 as a whole, exports were down 3.8%

Exports of goods from the Basque Country registered an annual downturn of 7.8% in March 2019, according to Eustat data. This fall was determined by the drop in exports of Plastics & Rubber and Transport Material, which posted decreases of 38.3% (91.5 million less than in March 2018) and 12.9% (89.6 million less), respectively. As a whole, the total exported was 2,171.5 million euros compared to 2,354.9 million in the same month of the previous year.

Álava is the province that registered the largest fall (-14.9%), due to the drop in exports of Transport Material (-23.9%), which this month represented 56.5% of the province’s total exports. Bizkaia was also down by 13.0%, principally because of the fall in exports of Plastics & Rubber (-55.0%). Gipuzkoa compensated, in part, for the performance of these provinces with growth of 7.1%, as a result of the 45.6% increase in Transport Material.


Imports of goods to the Basque Country experienced a 2.0% rise, reaching a total of 1,693.2 million euros. Energy imports decreased by 4.9% and non-energy imports were up 4.2%.

Imports for Gipuzkoa grew by 15.3%, whereas in Bizkaia and Álava they dropped by 0.5% and 3.3%, respectively.

Analysing the largest activity branches (A86), and in relation to exports, standing out this month were the decreases in exports of Rubber Products (-42.9%), and of products related to the Manufacture of motor vehicles (-22.0%), as well as the increase in exports of Other Transport Material (66.4%).

A more detailed look reveals year-on-year falls in exports of what are traditionally four of the six largest customs duty groups: Passenger cars with less than 10 seats (-26.6%), Vehicle parts and accessories (-18.9%), Goods transport vehicles (-27.2%) and New Rubber Tyres (-47.7%). On the other hand, there were increases in exports of Refined petroleum oils (8.5%) and Diesel and electric motor units for railway tracks and motorised trams (382.2%). Even so, these groups accounted for 36.6% of the total in March 2019, with a combined value of 795.7 million euros.

Five countries (France, Germany, United States, United Kingdom and Italy) were the main destinations for exports from the Basque Country, absorbing 54.1% of the total. Four of them belong to the EU-28, an entity that accounts for 66.7% of exports.

Analysing the main imported products this month, it can be observed that the most significant group, Petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals (16.6% of the total), registered a decrease of 14.8%. In contrast, there was strong growth (89.9%) in the second most imported product (73.7 million); Refined petroleum oils (primarily (88.6%) “low-sulphur diesel”); and in the product ranked fourth (57.7 million), Flat, hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products of a thickness exceeding 599mm, which rose by 57.8%.

In March 2019, 57.7% of imports came from the EU-28. Five countries (Germany, France, China, Italy and United Kingdom) were our main suppliers of goods, accounting for 42.2% of total imports to the Basque Country.


For the first quarter as a whole, and for exports from the Basque Country, a decrease of 3.8% was registered compared to the same period of the previous year, which translated into 243.6 million euros less. The total amount of exports this quarter stood at 6,177.6 million euros; the greatest contribution to this figure was that of Bizkaia, with 2,270.7 million, followed by Gipuzkoa (2,073.7 million) and Álava (1,833.2 million).

Bizkaia exports were the largest in the Basque Country, despite a year-on-year downturn of 9.2% (230.0 million euros less). In Álava there was a decrease of 11.2% (230.7 million); however, in Gipuzkoa there was a rise of 11.7% (217.1 million). Considering the type of exported product, it was Energy products, with a decrease of 180.6 million, which accounted for the majority of the aforementioned fall, although Non-energy products were also down compared to the same quarter of the previous year (63.0 million).

The six most exported products during the first quarter of 2019 accounted for 35.4% of exports, reaching a total of 2,185 million. Four of these products registered considerable decreases compared to the same quarter of the previous year, whereas the other two experienced increases. Of these decreases, the majority were in the vehicle sector; Passenger cars with less than 10 seats were down 24.3% (179.2 million less), Goods transport vehicles fell by 18.2% (86.8 million less) and Vehicle parts and accessories decreased by 11.1% (58.2 million less). Refined petroleum oils also registered a notable drop, with a fall of 33.4% (151.3 million); on the other hand, New Rubber Tyres grew by 8.0% (20.2 million) and Diesel and electric motor units for railway tracks and motorised trams were up 400.3% (155.8 million more).

The export ranking of the first quarter of 2019 situates France as the prime receiver country of Basque exports, with 16.1% of the total exported. After France comes Germany (15.6%), the United Kingdom (8.2%) and the United States (7.5%). Between them, these four countries account for almost 50% of Basque exports for this quarter.

Accumulated imports for the Basque Country as a whole during the period in question amounted to 5,159.2 million euros. This figure is 250.8 million more than that registered in the same period of 2018. This increase (5.1%) is largely due to the fact that the province of Gipuzkoa (with accumulated imports of 1,125.2 million) registered growth of 15.1%, that is, 147.6 million more than in the same quarter of the previous year. Imports also increased in Bizkaia, 108.7 million more, however they decreased in Álava (5.5 million less); the value of imports in these provinces stood at 2,922.2 and 1,111.7 million euros, respectively.

Imports of Energy Products dropped by 2.9%, but Non-energy Products were up 8.1%.

Foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country during the first quarter of 2019 had a positive balance of 1,018.4 million euros. Although this is 494.3 million less than that registered during the first three months of the previous year, this maintains a positive coverage rate of 119.7%.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.es Tel: 945 01 75 62

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Exports of goods from the Basque Country fell by 7.8% in March 2019

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Foreign trade statistics (ECOMEX)
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Marzo 2019
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